White House

Obama's take on transparency and access not beyond reproach

Dana Liebelson | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | January 23, 2009
January 23, 2009

President Obama won widespread praise in his first week  office among open-government advocates for issuing a memo reaffirming a commitment to FOIA.

Courts still dealing with Bush records policies

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | January 21, 2009
January 21, 2009

Even as President Barack Obama’s new administration takes charge of the White House this week, several disputes over the Bush Administration's records are far from over.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a ruling in a key records case the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington brought against then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

Accessing White House records next week and beyond

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Reaction | January 16, 2009
January 16, 2009

The Bush Administration is packing its boxes of records as it prepares to leave the White House next week -- and is required by law to send most of those documents to the National Archives and Records Administration. But ensuring that the transition follows the law is troubling to a host of groups with pending records suits against the administration, who want to ensure the documents are retained and that their suits can still go forward.

White House ordered to release visitor logs again

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | January 13, 2009
January 13, 2009

The White House was defeated yet again Friday in its attempt to block the release of visitor logs under the Freedom of Information Act.

Unveiling the remaining Bush administration secrets

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | December 1, 2008
December 1, 2008

An essay by Washington Monthly editor Charles Homans examines the remaining secrets of the Bush administration – the truth beneath the decisions to go to war in Iraq, to torture captives and to wiretap phone conversations in the name of catching terrorists.

Archives prepares for outgoing White House records

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | November 24, 2008
November 24, 2008

Staff members at the National Archives assured the Public Interest Declassification Board on Friday they are making progress on an electronic record management system and will be ready to receive an unprecedented number of documents and electronic records from the Bush Administration in January.

Assistant Archivist Michael Kurtz also offered his insight into changes the agency would like to see as part of the next administration’s executive order addressing declassification.

Court seems wary in oral arguments over White House e-mail

Kathleen Cullinan | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | November 17, 2008
November 17, 2008

Oral arguments Friday in a watchdog's lawsuit over missing White House e-mail messages did not seem to bode well for transparency in the matter, The Associated Press reported. 

Sunshine in Government Initiative releases set of Obama transition proposals

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | November 14, 2008
November 14, 2008

The Sunshine in Government Initiative released a new set of transition team proposals for the incoming Obama administration this week with a focus on the news media.

SGI, of which the Reporters Committee is a member, had four key recommendations for the White House.

Groups make headway in missing White House e-mail suit

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | November 11, 2008
November 11, 2008

The National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington won a major battle Monday in their efforts to recover missing White House e-mail messages.

A federal court denied the Bush administration’s motion to dismiss the groups’ lawsuit. The two groups are seeking a court order, under the Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act, saying the White House has to restore thousands of e-mail messages that were improperly archived.

Groups win spurt of victories over White House logs

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | October 1, 2008
October 1, 2008

Two Washington-based open-government groups -- Judicial Watch and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington -- won victories this week in their ongoing records dispute over White House visitor logs.

In a series of five decisions handed down on pending motions Monday and Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Secret Service was ordered to search its computer systems again for records related to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s White House visits.